Sources of the Constitution and explanation of The Preamble

Sources of the Constitution

The Constitution leads to the fundamental laws and principles which guide the nature, functions and the limits of a government. It displays the aspirations of the people it belongs to.

In India, the Constituent Assembly was established in November 1946, under the scheme formed by the Cabinet Mission Plan. The Constituent Assembly was to be a partly chosen and partly nominated body. The members were to be obliquely selected by the members of the provincial assemblies, who themselves were elected on a limited franchise. It composed of representatives of all sections of Indian society.

The Constitution framers adopted from may sources, features which are existing in the Indian Constitution. The main sources may be identified as:

The government of India Act, 1935

  • Federal Scheme
  • Office of Governor
  • Judiciary
  • Public Service Commissions
  • Emergency provisions
  • Administrative details

British Constitution

  • British Constitution
  • The idea of single citizenship
  • The idea of the Rule of law
  • The institution of Speaker and his role
  • Lawmaking procedure

United States Constitution

  • Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is similar to the United States Bill of Rights
  • The federal structure of government
  • Power of Judicial Review and independence of the judiciary

Irish Constitution

  • The constitutional enunciation of the directive principles of state policy

French Constitution

  • Ideals of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity

Canadian Constitution

  • A quasi-federal form of government (a federal system with a strong central government)
  • The idea of Residual Powers

Australian Constitution

  • The idea of the Concurrent list
  • Freedom of trade and commerce within the country and between the states

Soviet Constitution

  • The Planning Commission and Five-Year Plans
  • Fundamental Duties

The preamble to the Constitution of India

References from The Preamble highlights few fundamental meanings and guiding principles on which the Constitution of India is based. It labors as the guiding light for both, the Constitution as well as the judges who interpret the Constitution in its light. The opening few words of the Preamble – “We, the people” – signifies that the power lies in the hands of the people of India. The Preamble is as follows:

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:
JUSTICE, social, economic and political;
LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith, and worship;
EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote among them all FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation;

Originally, the preamble was not the part of the Constitution of India but the SC, in the case of ‘Kesavananda Bharati v. State of Kerala’ found it to be a bit of the Constitution which is crucial to interpreting ambiguous areas of the Constitution.

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